Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital SLR and Interchangeable Lens Cameras > Pentax / Samsung dSLR, K Mount Mirrorless

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Sep 3, 2010, 11:07 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
penolta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: California USA
Posts: 5,206
Default Along came a . . . spider? Not!

This is a rather astonishing phenomenon that I witnessed this morning, so bear with me.

Last year, I posted a picture of a squirrel at our feeder holding a sunflower seed with its wrists - he never used his paws to hold one. GW added a similar picture. This morning, another squirrel appeared, but this one used his "hands," and so, in spite of the heavy overcast, nearly foggy conditions, I had to document this, shooting handheld from the opened glass patio door. I used shutter priority at 1/500s, and the camera set ISO 3200 on the K20 - first time I ever went that high. Why 1/500? This squirrel was rather scrawny, and VERY hungry - he wouldn't be chased from the feeder, allowing my wife to get within a few feet when she went out to put out more seed - he left, but came back quickly and chowed down again. He was a very fast eater, too - averaging 1 1/2 seconds per seed - hence the fast shutter speed! Aperture was wide open (Tokina [email protected] 400mm). Now for the surprise - through the viewfinder there was a flurry of feathers, which I thought was a dove trying to get to the feeder - the squirrel's presence kept the birds away - and the squirrel didn't budge, and I kept shooting. Bad timing on my part - I finally had enough squirrel pictures and had taken the camera down from my eye and closed the door, when a Cooper's Hawk flew in and sat down beside the squirrel, which paid it no mind. Obviously, this was the "dove" that had made a pass at the squirrel earlier. The hawk proceeded to nudge the squirrel until he gave up and grudgingly jumped off, by which time I had managed to open the door and get one shot of the hawk still on the bench. The hawk immediately flew up to the feeder pole (in dense shade and backlighted) from which are suspended seed containers and proceeded to watch the bench, waiting for the birds to come, now that he had gotten rid of the squirrel (which was larger than his usual small bird prey)! Of course the birds were wise to the hawk and didn't return until he gave up and left (the squirrel came back later after I had left the room and was otherwise occupied - persistent if nothing else). I have a hard time attributing that kind of "intelligence" to a hawk, but I saw what I saw, and here is the sequence of events as it occurred (and you can see the way the squirrel holds the seed). Draw your own conclusion!

1

Name:  IMGP1010r.jpg
Views: 111
Size:  91.9 KB

2

Name:  IMGP1011r.jpg
Views: 105
Size:  99.2 KB

3

Name:  IMGP1033r.jpg
Views: 116
Size:  115.3 KB

4

Name:  IMGP1037r.jpg
Views: 150
Size:  133.5 KB

5

Name:  IMGP1038r.jpg
Views: 119
Size:  88.8 KB
__________________
.
.
If life brings you lemons, you can make lemonade.

Last edited by penolta; Sep 3, 2010 at 11:51 PM.
penolta is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Sep 4, 2010, 12:52 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Frogfish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Shanghai, China
Posts: 2,774
Default

Great story ! What a pity you had already closed the doors and missed that unique shot.
Frogfish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 4, 2010, 12:55 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
SharpShotGal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Kitsap Penninsula, Washington State
Posts: 1,217
Default

You have got a great story to leave the grandkids .... and shots to sow what you saw to bad you did not get one of the hawk nudging the poor critter away ... Joib Well Done!
SharpShotGal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 4, 2010, 1:10 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Western Canada
Posts: 3,076
Default

Great story. Quite an observation. I would write that down. I actually keep a diary of sorts that I note sightings of wild animals and wild birds.

Thanks for relating that story.

Les
lesmore49 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 4, 2010, 5:08 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
bilybianca's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Hassleholm, Sweden
Posts: 3,435
Default

Even though I do know that the concept "intelligence" is tricky enough to use for humans, and really can get you out of the playfield when used for animals, at least we can draw the conclusion that some animals are pretty smart. Applies to all the animals involved in this drama. Thanks for posting, Penolta!

Kjell
bilybianca is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 4, 2010, 8:07 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
penolta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: California USA
Posts: 5,206
Default

Glad you all enjoyed it - thanks for looking and commenting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bilybianca View Post
at least we can draw the conclusion that some animals are pretty smart.
Kjell
Agreed. I can cite many examples of birds with "smarts" (as well as some of the other kind, too!)
__________________
.
.
If life brings you lemons, you can make lemonade.
penolta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 4, 2010, 9:52 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Goldwinger's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Winter Haven, Florida
Posts: 6,515
Default

Great capture, Pen!
Great opportunity to document it too.
__________________
GW

Life's a breeze on a Goldwing...
Goldwinger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 5, 2010, 1:57 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
mtngal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Frazier Park, CA
Posts: 16,056
Default

The story of my life, giving up just before I could have gotten the perfect shot. The story is interesting, the fact that the squirrel wasn't afraid of the hawk (would have thought it would be). The pictures you did post are still very interesting, I think I'm glad that the hawk didn't find lunch at your bird feeder, though.
mtngal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 5, 2010, 5:39 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
mole's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 8,522
Default

Fascinating story! So glad you were able to capture at least part of it!
mole is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 5, 2010, 7:42 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
penolta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: California USA
Posts: 5,206
Default

Thanks GW, Harriet and Mole for looking and commenting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mole View Post
Fascinating story! So glad you were able to capture at least part of it!
Well, the pictures aren't the greatest, given the conditions and my relatively limited PP abilities (especially for the last two), but at least together they all serve to document something unusual - something I have never seen before or even heard of happening.
__________________
.
.
If life brings you lemons, you can make lemonade.
penolta is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:00 PM.